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Local News

Lawsuit: Rialto stiffed janitorial company on cleaning bills

JOLIET – A janitorial company has filed suit claiming the Rialto Square Theatre's management owes money for cleaning services.

The operators of Unicare Building Maintenance on Tuesday sued the Will County Metropolitan Exposition & Auditorium Authority claiming an outstanding balance of $23,383.10 has not been paid. The WCMEAA is identified in the suit as the corporation that owns the Rialto.

According to the suit, filed by attorney James Gately, Unicare provided janitorial services from May 2010 until April 29 of this year.

Filed in court with the suit were monthly invoices for cleaning services for the first four months of 2016.

The Mokena-based company billed the theater $714.35 for monthly cleaning service for the first and second floors of 5 E. Van Buren Street, $1,550 for "USF Space" and between $3,481 and $3,818 each month for 2 Rialto Square.

2 Rialto Square's Suite 300 and 5 E. Van Buren's Suite 214 were not part of the cleaning services provided, according to the invoices.

The suit is the latest in a series of financial problems facing the theater. Most of the full-time administrative staff has been cut down to three-day work weeks this month to make payroll and positions that have gone vacant in recent months have not been filled.

The theater is also preparing to be taken over by an outside management company. Former General Manager Randy Green was given three months severance earlier this year. Green's departure was prompted by the theater's failure to pay payroll taxes for a few months, a situation that has since been corrected.

The suit is asking for judgment against the Rialto for the amount owed and court costs.

Rialto attorney David Silverman said Friday he had yet to see the lawsuit and declined comment.

Interim general manager Jack Ericksen also had no comment on Unicare's suit, but said the theater "continues to work closely with all our vendors and has every intention to satisfy all outstanding obligations."

"In this industry, cash flow problems are not unique to the Rialto and most of our vendors have been very understanding about that," Ericksen said, adding the new partnership with outside management "will create a very stable financial future."

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